Two more ideas for your vacation plans in Central Europe…
3. Trieste – this utterly Italian city only made it into our travel plans because it’s about 7 hours from Budapest, making it a good stop for the night on the way to Tuscany. Also, I thought, why not see the port city that once gave Hungary a spot on the coast? Now landlocked, Hungary likes to recall those days of its empire extending to the Adriatic. Trieste was a pleasant surprise, with a grand square at the harbor, a long park along the waterfront dotted with cafes, and the Miramare palace at the tip of the point, the fairy-tale-beautiful residence of Archduke Maximilian, the ill-fated Habsburg (weren’t they all? He was assassinated after becoming Emperor of Mexico). So if you’ve already “done” Venice, why not try Trieste? I’m not sure it’s worth a whole trip, but definitely worth a day or two. There’s a famous cave and lots of hilltop towns to explore nearby… Here is the official tourism site: http://www.turismofvg.it/Locality/Trieste.
4. Tátra – I’ve written about this tiny mountain range before, http://wp.me/p1Mrmn-1Q, so here are some photos of this hidden gem, the formerly Hungarian “Alps,” though they’re a range unto their own. Here’s a picture of one of the restored old inns like the ones my husband’s family used to own. I could go on and recommend you drive on to one of my favorite destinations in Poland, just a few kilometers (on winding roads through not-so-prosperous villages) but I’ll save that for another item on the list. Here is the Tatra National Park’s not-so-friendly website, http://www.tanap.org/english/, and http://www.travelslovakia.sk/slovakia-trips/slovakia-accommodation/stay-high-tatras.php, a more friendly commercial travel site.
More tomorrow, if my internet connection is cooperating.